Match Details: 19/01/2019
Yeovil Town 2-0 Notts County
EFL League Two
Yeovil Goals: Tom James (8), Alex Dobre (90)
Yeovil Line-Up: 2. Adel Gafaiti, 3. Carl Dickinson, 4. Gary Warren, 7. Rhys Browne, 10. Jake Gray, 12. Nathan Baxter, 13. Francois Zoko, 20. Sessi D'Almeida, 21. Joshua Grant, 23. Tom James, 25. Alex Dobre,
Subs: 1. Stuart Nelson, 5. Bevis Mugabi, 8. Matt Worthington, 9. Alex Fisher, 15. Gabriel Rogers, 18. Yoann Arquin, 30. Alefe Santos
Substitutes Used: Yoann Arquin for Rhys Browne (69 mins), Bevis Mugabi for Adel Gafaiti (73 mins), Alex Fisher for Francois Zoko (77 mins)
Bookings: Tom James (Foul, 53)
Yeovil Town picked up a valuable three points on Saturday afternoon, with a 2-0 victory over basement side Notts County. The six-pointer saw the Glovers score at the start and at the end of the match, with Tom James scoring his sixth goal of the season with an eighth minute header at the near post. The Glovers had to perform an extreme containment job on the Magpies throughout much of the game, but sealed victory when a poor backpass was intercepted by AFC Bournemouth loanee Alex Dobre, who rounded the visiting goalkeeper to give his temporary side their first victory on home soil since August 25th, lifting them to 20th in the table, although with Macclesfield Town winning, still only three points off the relegation zone.
The Glovers went into the match making one change to their starting line-up, and that was an enforced one. Jordan Green's transfer to Barnsley during the week meant that Rhys Browne came into the starting line-up, although last week's tactics and shape from the Mansfield Town match were preserved with a 4-3-3 formation seeing Tom James act as a holding midfielder in front of the back four. Notts County got in the first chance of the game, after Nathan Baxter had to come off his line to head the ball away from outside his goal area. That led to Cedric Evina hoping to lob the goalkeeper from distance, but he couldn't direct the ball on target in the split second that he had.
Yeovil hadn't done a lot in the early stages, but they took the lead through their first effort on goal. When a corner was forced, Jake Gray took the set piece, and his ball to the near post found Tom James, who produced a glancing header that flew past keeper Ross Fitzsimons for a 1-0 lead. With only eight minutes on the clock, that was what they needed to settle the game down.
Notts County responded by grabbing a lot of territory and possession, although they struggled to get good shots on Nathan Baxter's goal. Despite Yeovil needing to defend their lead for 82 minutes, they seemed content to perform that sort of a containment job on Notts County, sitting men behind the ball, and aiming only to try to hit their opponents on the counter-attack. Jonathan Stead put a header wide from a Lewis Alessandra cross, and that was followed by Alessandra's turn and shot after a Robert Milsom knockdown that Nathan Baxter comfortably saved. Notts County's chance of the half fell to Elliott Hewitt, who should have scored after Baxter dropped a Cedric Evina cross under pressure from Stead, but Hewitt didn't compose himself and fired over the bar.
The second period saw more of the same. Nathan Baxter had to palm a Lewis Alessandra cross out for a corner to stop Jonathan Stead getting on the end of it, and it took until the hour mark until either side had any sort of a shot. Even then David Vaughan's effort was well wide. Once again, Yeovil's attitude was to soak up and frustrate Notts County, and it was 20 minutes into the half before they had their second goal of the whole game, with an Alex Dobre break up field finishing with Sessi D'Almeida having a deflected effort travel over the bar.
Once again the Magpies threatened an equaliser, when Stead headed an Alessandra corner back across goal, with Pierre Bird's shot from inside the box coming back off the crossbar. The pressure that was building was broken by that move, as in the goalmouth chaos, Adel Gafaiti needed lengthy treatment from a head injury that saw him substituted for Bevis Mugabi.
Notts County were making their own substitutions, as they were forced to press the gamble button. Three attacking players were brought on, as first Kristian Dennis and Enzio Boldewijn were introduced, followed quickly by Nathan Thomas as their formation got more advanced up the field. But that seemed to suit Yeovil better than it did County, with Alex Fisher breaking the offside trap, as the visitors stopped dead for the linesmans flag. Only the alertness of keeper Ross Fitzsimons stopped that turning into a second goal.
As the game went into injury time, and Sessi D'Almeida shot over the bar from a corner, Notts County seemed to be running out of ideas. They were also about to make a costly error, as 92 minutes into the match, Ben Barclay's poor back header didn't reach the goalkeeper. AFC Bournemouth loanee Alex Dobre intercepted, and confidently rounded Fitzsimons, before pushing the ball into an empty net and the 2-0 lead that would guarantee Yeovil their first win on home soil since August 25th.
And just as well - with Macclesfield Town's much improved recent form, their victory on Saturday meant they continued to match Yeovil point-for-point. As such, although victory lifted the Glovers up to 20th place in the table, they remain three points off the relegation spots, and so despite two wins in a row, can't start celebrating anything yet. The team that will have an uneasy feeling though is Notts County, who now lie seven points from safety. Today's victory may have gone a long way towards killing off one of the clubs that Yeovil need to stay above.
Link: 2018-19 Latest League Two Table.
Final Score: Yeovil Town 2 Notts County 0.
Scorers: Tom James (1-0, 8 mins), Alex Dobre (2-0, 90 mins)
12. Nathan Baxter
21. Josh Grant 2. Adel Gafaiti 4. Gary Warren (Capt) 3. Carl Dickinson
10. Jake Gray 23. Tom James 20. Sessi D'Almeida
7. Rhys Browne 13. Francois Zoko 25. Alex Dobre
1. Stuart Nelson (GK) 5. Bevis Mugabi (73 mins for Adel Gafaiti) 8. Matt Worthington 9. Alex Fisher (for Francois Zoko) 15. Gabriel Rogers 18. Yoann Arquin (69 mins for Rhys Browne) 30. Alefe Santos
1 Ross Fitzsimons
6 Ben Barclay 5 Richard Duffy 3 Pierce Bird
4 Elliott Hewitt 24 Robert Milsom 21 Jim O'Brien 8 David Vaughan 25 Cedric Evina
7 Lewis Alessandra 30 Jon Stead
9 Kristian Dennis (75 mins for Lewis Alessandra) 10 Nathan Thomas (83 mins for Pierce Bird) 11 Enzio Boldewijn (75 mins for Cedric Evina) 13 Branislav Pindroch 16 Shaun Brisley 23 Daniel Jones 37 Kion Etete
Yeovil Bookings: Tom James (foul, 53 mins)
Notts County Bookings: Ben Barclay (foul, 45 mins), David Vaughan (foul, 51 mins)
Yeovil Match Statistics: Possession: 47%; Shots: 6; Shots On Target: 3; Corners: 5; Fouls: 17.
Notts County Match Statistics: Possession: 53%; Shots: 7; Shots On Target: 1; Corners: 7; Fouls: 10.
Referee: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire). Assistants: Darren Blunden (Kent) and Dean Treleaven (West Sussex). Fourth Official: John Flynn (Oxfordshire).
Attendance: 2,716 (with 312 Notts County supporters).